Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday American Cinema Classic

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Thursday American Cinema Classic. I’m taking a course called American Cinema Since 1960 where we’re charting the history and development of American Cinema from the 1960s to the present. We’ll be watching some pretty iconic films, some of which I haven’t seen before. Each week, I’ll be providing a short review of one contemporary classic from the annals of recent history.

Boyz n the Hood
Directed by John Singleton
Released July 12, 1991

This film earned twin Oscar nominations for writer-director John Singleton, who made history as both the youngest director ever nominated for an Oscar and the first African-American up for the award. The movie is engaging portrait of one young man who grows up in a harsh, violent world where a life can be taken for a reason as arbitrary as someone bumping into someone else. It has a definitive style and, while its story is reminiscent a number of other recent films, it’s important to remember that this was one of the first ones. Among the cast you’ll find a very young Cuba Gooding Jr, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube, and Laurence Fishburne. The film features many scenes which could come off as corny if done the wrong way, but Singleton makes this a very intimate and personal experience. While the plot plays out pretty much exactly as you’d expect it, to, it’s no less powerful and compelling. Chronicling Tre’s childhood from when he first moved to South Central Los Angeles to when he grows up and tries to escape from his life there is an incredibly interesting and dynamic story that still resonates twenty years later.

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